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Memphis Minnie - The Blues
Archival Print
Benefits the Blues Foundation

Artist James Terman created a series of 27 blues portraits in collaboration with The Portland Stamp Company, four of those portraits are available as archival prints.

In the 1930s and ’40s Memphis Minnie’s singing, songwriting, spirited demeanor, and superlative guitar playing propelled her to the upper echelons of a blues field then dominated by male guitarists and pianists. On her own or with her first husband, Kansas Joe McCoy, or her last spouse, Little Son Joe, Minnie cut a colorful figure and left an impressive cache of blues recordings that would influence blues and rock performers for generations to come. 

Proceeds benefit The Blues Foundation.

Printed by Land Gallery in Portland, Oregon using an 11-color high definition ink process on an enhanced matte archival paper.

Ships flat in a cellophane sleeve with a hard backing.

Size: 11" x 14"

This item normally ships out within two business days.
This item qualifies for our $6 standard domestic shipping.

Minnie’s real name was Lizzie Douglas; she often claimed she was born on June 3, 1897, in Algiers, Louisiana, but in census records and on her Social Security application her birthplace was listed as Mississippi.

She grew up in Tunica and DeSoto counties, where she began performing with guitarist Willie Brown and others. Known as “Kid” Douglas in her youth, she had become Memphis Minnie by the time she made her first record in 1929 with Joe McCoy. “Bumble Bee” was their big hit, and has been recorded by many other blues singers, although in later years their most recognized song would become “When the Levee Breaks,” now famous as a Led Zeppelin recording. The couple relocated from Memphis to Chicago, where Minnie later took on a new guitar-playing husband, Ernest Lawlars (or Lawlers), a.k.a. Little Son Joe.

Minnie recorded prolifically throughout the 1930s and ’40s, scoring hits such as “Me and My Chauffeur Blues,” “Please Set a Date,” “In My Girlish Days,” and “Nothing in Rambling.” Her showmanship and instrumental prowess enabled her to defeat the top bluesmen of Chicago, including Muddy Waters and Big Bill Broonzy, in blues contests.

Minnie gained a reputation as a downhome diva who could handle herself, and her men, both on and off the stage. In 1958 Minnie returned to Memphis, where she died in a nursing home on August 6, 1973.